Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Lessons I've Learned from the Queens of Comedy; Tina Fey Edition

Tina Fey. What is there to say about Tina that hasn't already been said before? Probably not a whole heck of a lot, so you'll just have to bear with me. She's intelligent, beautiful, genuine, sassy, strong, independent and oh yeah, hilarious. She's a writer, producer, actor, Mom, yogurt-facial extraordinaire and probably everything else under the sun. I think she can probably do anything she wants. A self-proclaimed "super nerd", she's given us gems like Mean Girls and 30 Rock (Liz Lemon people! LIZ. LEMON.) and some of the funniest skits on SNL. 

Tina's like the founding member of the "Nerds Are Cool Too" club, and for that, I'd pay to thank her personally. [I kind of want that club to actually exist now!] Her book "Bossypants" is a New York Times 'Best Seller', obviously. Because it's smart and witty and funny and written by Tina Fey. She's one of the coolest cats around, and if I ever meet her, the first question I'll probably ask is if "night cheese" is really something she engages in. I hope she says yes. Wait, maybe I don't want to know the real answer to that. 

1. Fake it till you make it. If you act like you're the shiz, people won't think twice about it. Own it. Own yourself and your life and never look back. People are too insecure to question someone who looks like they know what they're doing.

2. Don't stop, beeeelievin'. Hold onto that feeeeleyaaaan! Just kidding. Just Don't stop. Whatever you're working towards, just keep doing it, despite all the crap that gets lodged into your way. You'll make it. And even if you fail, just make like Aaliyah and try, try again. (Too many random musical references in that one? Sorry.) It'll happen, just don't give up. Ever.

3. Amen sister, Amen! 

4. I love this so much. I've spent most of my life being terrified of failure. I have to be the best. I have to perform at 100% all day, everyday. I can't make any mistakes. Sure, it can push you to do extraordinary things, like getting an 99% on my brain anatomy exam, but it can also cause insanity, ulcers, and hair loss, so there's that. I've learned to dial it down...a notch. (I'm just not cut out for a completely carefree attitude!) It's a work in progress...

5. 'Haters gonna hate'. While the grammatically incorrect phrase makes my ears want to bleed, the sentiment is great; there will always be people that sucker-punch you and then kick you while you're down. But those bullies only have power if you let them. Ignore them and knock 'em out with your awesomeness. THEN, when you're above them, kick 'em to the curb! (Or the stomach...just kidding...kind of.)

6. We have to STOP caring so much what other people think of us, of how we look or what we say or our life choices. We've got to just do our best to be happy and forget everyone else. Wear makeup if you like the way you look or how you feel wearing it, or don't it you feel better au natural. Wear your hair curly if you like it or stop dying it blond just to fit in. Whatever it is, just do it because YOU want to! I think happiness is the most beautiful thing, and everything else is just filler.

7. No more being afraid! Some of the best things aren't and can't be calculated! I know for the last 10 years or so, I've been extremely guarded and closed off, afraid of the risks of getting hurt again or failing or breaking. But no more! I'm learning to jump off those cliffs and enjoy the free fall! Say "yes to love, yes to life, and yes to staying in more!" 

8. Being perfect is overrated. Being real, well that's something to strive for. Just be yourself. Don't do things just because other people are. Originality and sincerity go a long ways.

9. Appreciate what you've got. EVERYONE has things about themselves they don't like. And that's okay. But those things DO NOT define you. YOU define you. And when you feel down and you're laying on the floor in the corner of your room in fetal position, remember those things that you love about yourself and repeat them over and over until the demons go away. Also, be able to laugh at yourself. Life isn't so serious. Everything feels better after a good laugh. 

10. I love this. It's a lot like what I've already said, but I couldn't help myself. Embrace your fear, take a leap, and as Tina says "figure it out later". You can't spend your life calculating all the risks or you'll never live it. Remember Along came Polly? (I'm just full of random references today!) 
11. Forgive the curse word, but this is one of my favorites! Because you know what? We do. I feel like this quotes belongs in a Spice Girls song or maybe a Sylvia Plath poem. ;) No, but really, be strong, be independent, be adventurous and motivated and hard working and awesome. Be you. Empower yourself, you're the only one that can! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Lessons I've Learned from the Queens of Comedy; Amy Poehler Edition

I thought I'd start off this series with Amy Poehler, because of course I would. Not only is she funny and brilliant, she's also a strong woman who's become a staple in not just comedy but the industry as a whole. She's an actress, writer, producer, director, and space cowboy aficionado. (Okay, the last one may or may not be true, but the rest of it is!) She's the type of girl you'd want as a bestie. Actually, I feel like most of us dream of becoming the 3rd bestie in the Fey/Poehler circle of magic. She's the type of girl you'd go to when you needed to be cheered up and the type of girl you'd go to when you needed backup. She's sweet but you know she could be feisty when needs be and you definitely know she'd be your alibi if you ever needed one.  

So, in honor of her upcoming book release (which I've preorderd!) on October 28, titled "Yes Please", I give you the Lessons I've Learned from Amy Poehler. 

1. She's so right on target here. Sometimes we put up with awful things from people for various reasons. Maybe it's lack of confidence or respect for ourselves, maybe it's because we feel we owe that person for some reason, or maybe it's because we don't know how to stand up for ourselves. Whatever it is, follow Amy's advice and give it up now. You deserve SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT. You deserve to be happy and you don't need ANYONE in your life that makes you feel belittled, insignificant, ugly, stupid, sad, angry, etc. They aren't worth it, and the people that are would never make you feel that way!

2. I love this. I'm not the type of person who embarrasses easily. In fact, I'm more likely to embarrass you for being seen with me. I love to goof off and have fun and some people just can't handle that. Sure, there's a time and a place, but the list of places you shouldn't goof off is pretty small compared to the list of places you should. I know a lot of people are afraid to let go because they don't want to look stupid or embarrass themselves, but I say, who cares!? Embrace it! The fun you'll have will be well worth it, trust me. 

3. Smart lady. This was something I've definitely struggled with in the past. It's a natural reaction; when we get hurt, all of our guards and walls go up as our heart and mind try tirelessly to prevent itself from having to endure that pain again. It's a defense mechanism that's really sophisticated and efficient and great at what it does. But learning how to lower your guard, break down those walls and let people in again is truly difficult. But absolutely vital. And totally worth the hard work it takes to get there again.
4. Classy, classy woman. We should always be uplifting each other instead of dragging people down. I'm a firm believer in what you put out into the world always comes back to you. 

5. Sometimes you want to go at it alone because you feel like if you ask for help, you lose a little of the reward or perhaps you'll lose some credit or whatever it may be. It might feel like you don't deserve the product if you had help with the development or maybe you might feel like you don't want to share credit with anyone else because IT'S YOUR BABY and you've put your heart and a lot of hard work into it. I know I've felt that way before. But asking for help doesn't mean any of these things. In fact, success is rarely accomplished by doing things alone. If we should believe anyone on this, it would be Amy. Ask for help, take other peoples' opinions and ideas into consideration and create something beautiful and amazing together!

6. I used to be such a free spirit, I never thought that taking risks would be something I'd EVER struggle with. But when you get burned badly, when you break into thousands of pieces and you spend so many awful days trying to put yourself back together, you most often end up overcompensating by playing it safe. As mentioned before, those walls come up to prevent anymore heartache, but more often than not, they actually deprive us of truly experiencing happiness. Sure, we may feel safe when we don't take risks, but like every cheesy Lifetime movie says, life isn't about playing it safe. When we have something to lose, only then do we experience life at it's fullest.

7. BE BRAVE. Taking Amy’s advice, when something scares me, I make myself do it. Within reason. Obviously some things are incredibly dangerous and possibly detrimental to your health/job/life, and in those circumstances do not ignore your gut feelings! But with everything else, try things you wouldn’t normally try, eat things you wouldn’t normally eat, experience something you’ve been strangely interested in but too afraid to do your whole life! Be uncomfortable, be afraid, but just DO IT!

8. Word Amy, Word. If Amy is anything, she's real. I love how empowering she is for us gals out there. I feel like she's that one friend who's always your cheerleader, no matter what. With everything she's accomplished, she's really pushing the envelope in a male dominated field. AND I LOVE THAT ABOUT HER. She practically IS feminism. 

9. Pretty good advice if you ask me! Keeping an open mind allows us to continually grow and challenge ourselves. And before casting an opinion or making up our mind about something, we should learn about it first.

10. When does Amy NOT look happy? The answer is NEVER. She's someone that you can totally trust taking advice on happiness about. Most of us would agree with her here if we were asked, but sometimes we lose sight of these simple but true principles. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the world. We work so hard to obtain what we want out of life that we sometimes forget to actually live it. Take a step back, re-evaluate yourself, your priorities, your plans, and make sure that what you're doing is going to make you happy while reaching your goals. We can't bank on living life once we've achieved them, we have to live it in the moment. We have to be in the present while looking forward to the future and not forgetting the past. We have to find happiness with what we have and who we are at that very moment.

11. This, I LOVE. Forget everyone else. Live your life the way you feel is best and don't worry about what others think.  If you're happy, block everyone else out. And if you can't help but be worried about them, just remember, confidence is the key. People won't question you if you don't let them. Fake it 'till you make it.

12. Taking a page from the Silver Linings Playbook here, even the bad things can be positive in a way. It's all about perspective. We don't have to like the painful things in life but we can accept them for shaping us into the people we are and will be. It's important to learn to look on the bright side of things. And if that doesn't work, the funny side.

13. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Self confidence is the key that unlocks your true potential. Once you have that belief, you are strong, powerful, and the world is yours for the taking.

14. We need to treat ourselves better, that's for sure. We are our biggest critics and sometimes our worst enemy. We cannot truly be happy until we love ourselves.

15. And last but not least, be patient and have faith that good things will come your way. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying to sit idly by like a damsel in distress waiting for your Prince Charming to come rescue you from the Evil Queen, because let's get one thing straight, we don't need a man to save us, we can do it ourselves. But life requires a certain amount of patience. Go after what you want and don't settle for anything less. You deserve it. And you'll get it. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Things We're (I'm) Getting Too Old To Do

I'm learning to love my age. There are so many things that are BETTER in your mid twenties than they were in your early twenties. You still have LOADS of fun, but instead of partying until the wee hours of the morning, rolling outta bed to go to school/work looking like a train wreck with only a couple hours of sleep and last night's makeup on, you have dinner parties and movie nights, and designated 'girls night outs' (which actually DON'T involve boys at all, except to talk about them, of course). In fact, you have a lot more fun because everything is more intimate and real and people are actually sober and even more interesting. Not to mention in your mid twenties, you travel more with your friends, not just day trips but weekends away because you're old enough to actually afford it/check into a hotel/rent a car. 

But as we get older, there are some habits from our late teens/early twenties that we have to give up. I'm not saying that we shouldn't embrace our inner child and just become mature robot adults,  (I mean, come on, I still laugh at potty humor!) but that there are some things we should leave to the youngins and embrace our awesome older (although slower metabolism) selves.  

Things We're (I'm) Getting Too Old To Do

1. Midnight movies… 

Remember when you were dying to see a movie that came out and would flock to the nearest theater with a group of friends for the Thursday MIDNIGHT release? Yeah, me too. It was awesome. But remember how TIRED you were the next day? Well, that times a thousand is how it feels in your mid twenties when you don't enough sleep.    

2. All-day concerts 

I love shows, don't get me wrong. Like, I LOVE THEM. Concerts are just about my favorite things. But they're exhausting. They take A LOT of energy, especially the outdoor summer concerts, which in Northern California, are like 110 degrees... Ugh, I'm tired just thinking about it. You want to party and dance and have fun, but you start to panic when all the youths are still goin strong and you're desperately hoping for the bands to switch so you can rest your achin' bones.

 3. Really, just trying to stay up for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon is hard enough. 

 I've always had a crush on Jimmy Fallon, so when he got Late Night and then The Tonight Show, I was desperately eager to watch him EVERY NIGHT. Except when 10 o'clock hits, my eyes start to droop and I'm ready to pass out by 11. So I watch it recorded instead. Only when you're growing up does sleep out weigh your crushes.

4. All nighters... 

When I was younger (okay, from elementary school until like Senior year of high school), having "sleepovers" meant your friends came over and you talked ALL night, watched movies, played truth or dare and DIDN'T sleep a wink. And then when you're first in college, pulling an "all nighter" was considered a badge of honor, just part of the whole "college experience". Nowadays, anything that happens after midnight is a freaking blur. I get delirious, somewhat deranged and really really giggly.  I just can't function whatsoever, not to mention the next day, as I guzzle Redbull after Redbull just trying to keep my eyes open. At a certain point, none of that is worth it anymore.

5. Eating anything you want at any time of day/night. 

It used to be that you could eat anything you wanted at any time of day and not feel or notice a thing! However, in your mid twenties you start to notice a change in metabolism. You can't have everything you want anymore and definitely not any time of day. Eating something completely awesome tasting past 8 pm will surely have you waking up with heart burn the next morning and hating your life.

6. Carelessly spending money 

Remember when you didn't really have any bills to worry about and you could just spend your money on anything (and everything) you wanted? Yeah, me either. But as you grow up you attain more and more grown-up bills, which are daunting and expensive and heavy with the weight of responsibility. You love to spend money but have gotten yourself into trouble (maybe on several occasions) in the past, and it's time to start having "big-kid finances". You can no longer drop a wad of cash at the MAC counter or Steve Madden, just because you want to. You can no longer eat out for every meal because hey, why not!?  No, you have bills to pay and creating a budget is absolutely essential, not to mention putting money away into savings and balancing a check book. Kids have it so easy.  

 7. Not using your phone calendar to log appointments 

We used to think we could manage our worlds just with our brain power. I'm never going to forget that appointment! How could I?! It's only the most important appointment in the history of appointments! And then you realize you've forgotten and you're kicking yourself as it feels like you're life is ending and mass amounts of anxiety and fear are scourging through your blood stream. Okay, this may be dramatic but you get the idea. The feeling as you realized you forgot about your doctors appointment, forgot to pick up the dogs, forgot to update your drivers license, forgot to pick up your medication and it's a Friday before a holiday weekend, is indescribable. Growing up means organization and using your "appointment book", except now they make it easy and everything's available on your smart phone calendar! There's even this free post-it note app that you can write memo's on and set up notifications for!  

8. Not drinking enough water. 

Yeah, drinking water was never a priority for me except during soccer season. But in my early twenties when I wasn't playing soccer anymore, I could care less about my water consumption. Pass me a Diet Coke or a Rockstar please! Water was for wussies! Not anymore. As you get older you understand how important water is for your health, your skin, and well, just about everything. 

 9. Letting other people walk all over you. 

Most of the time, in our late teens and early twenties, we're still struggling with self confidence, we're still unsure of ourselves, and more willing to let people walk all over you. But not anymore! You're a real adult now; you're smart, capable, and ready to take on the world! And you can! But you know now that you can't accomplish your goals if you let people take advantage of you and walk all over you. Stand up and respect yourself.

10. Under-appreciating nights staying IN. 

Ahhhh, a night in, watching OnDemand or your Netflix que or even some movies...ordering takeout and having it delivered so that you don't even have to put a bra on or heck, maybe even pants... IS THE WAY TO LIVE. Sure, going out is still nice, every once in a while. But staying at home, either by yourself or with your friends, and just relaxing is the way to go! Bring out the games and grub and enjoy an evening completely centered around each other (or yourself!) without having to get dolled up, wait for a table, or struggle to find parking downtown.

  11. Caring what other people think about us. 

Kevin G sure had a point. Because this year is Mean Girls' 10 year anniversary, I had to include this. When we're younger, most of us seriously care what other people think of us. I had a strange timeline because I didn't really care what people thought of me until I graduated high school, which lasted from my late teens through my early/mid twenties. Only now am I starting to not care anymore; I'm getting more comfortable in my own skin. I'm figuring out who I really am and learning not settle for anything less than what I want. As we age, we're more sure of who we are as individuals. We're learning to stand up for ourselves and not take anyone's crap, because you know what, we're freaking awesome.

12.  Not using sunscreen when you're outside. 

Ahhh yes, the moment the sun starts to shine we run to the beach or pool side (or backyard) and lounge in the radiant light, soaking up that Vitamin D, eager to start our summer tans. As young, naive teenagers we used to spritz  that Banana Boat Dark Tanning Oil all over us and sit in the sun for hours and hours. Sure, we got lovely dark skin (and sometimes a horrible sunburn) but it seemed worth it! Now, we know better. We know that while we may get tan now, we're WAY more likely to get skin cancer later, and more wrinkles! Growing up means forgetting our childish notions of glamor and accepting our skin for the way it is. Growing up means sunscreen, SPF 70 style.
13. Not believing in ourselves. 

Sure, everyone is unsure of themselves at one point or another. But no more. We are no longer girls, we're women! We're beautiful, strong, intelligent, independent women! Take a page out of Beyonce's book and embrace who you are, embrace the flaws that you've always hated but actually are AMAZING and what make you, YOU. Believe in yourself. You're fierce and you you've totally got this! It's easier said than done, but it's a great goal to work on. And hey, fake it till you make it! And eventually you'll be there! 

14. Not getting enough sleep/basic necessities. 

We used to pull all nighters or party until dawn and it was totally fine. Nowadays it's more like we're hard workin girls with jobs or families or school, and we  sacrifice A LOT to have what we have. And we love it! But as we grow up, we have to learn when and what to sacrifice. Sure, you'll get more done but it's not worth it when you've got ulcers, insomnia, and dark circles under your eyes. It's time to give up those bad habits and prioritize! Give up something (anything!) else, but don't give up your sleep/eating/hygiene. Seriously, we've all done this before, but enough is enough! We deserve to relax and get our eight hours a night, thank you very much!

15. Not giving ourselves enough credit. 

Let's just get one thing clear: WE'RE REALLY AWESOME. We work hard and play hard and we deserve to be happy! We deserve to get what we work hard for. And when we get there, we deserve to be proud of it! We're not cocky, we're confident and we know now what we deserve and we're not settling. We're reaching the top and basking in the sunlight. And when we get there, you better believe we're high fiving a million angels, a la Liz Lemon style.